a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.

Who is our tribe? Often times they are the people who have formed the person we are. Our families are the first ones to tell us what to believe in, what not to, who to trust, who not to, what religion we are going to follow and what kinds of foods we will eat.

But what if we don’t like any of the things they expect us to conform to? Well that’s what the teenage years are for. And once you realize that no matter how much you rebel you still live under their roof, eventually you calm down and learn to accept what they tell you.

Until you leave the house.  Once that happens all bets are off and sometimes it can be the end of your relationships with family. Usually you just outgrow their beliefs and create your own and still maintain ties with them, but even that gets challenging, especially if you have done spiritual growth of any kind.

People can become very threatened by you when you change. They tend to think since you have changed, it now means that they have to in order to still be in contact with you. What they don’t realize is that it’s not necessary for them to, they just need to honor the fact that you have.

Another thing that threatens people with your change is they think you may not need them anymore.  Some people cannot be in a relationship with you when you are doing good. They only know how to relate to you when you are doing bad. Your misery makes them feel validated as a person and needed.

You can tell when someone isn’t supporting your growth because they won’t listen when you are talking about it or flat out tell you they think it’s bunk. Not listening is far more painful. Some people just flat out stop talking to you. This is painful, too.

So why change if it not only causes you pain but others as well?

Because your tribe no longer resonates with you. You can try and force it to work and maybe even pretend, but you’re only fooling yourself and eventually the more you try to resist it the more it persists and you start to see and hear people differently and can’t believe you are the only one in the room who just witnessed such behavior. It’s as though you are in another dimension, like the Twilight Zone. You become so sensitive to every word spoken, every eye glance, every emotion in a room, that you find yourself wanting to be a hermit.

And that’s okay. You have to do what you feel is best for you. The last thing you want to do is tell your best friend of fifteen years off because you have had a spiritual awakening and they still want to pick-up women or men for the night.

The inner work is important but it is equally important to find your tribe. Which is why I am trying to find the right salon to work at a day a week and then be on call the others. You would think with a half a million salons in Manhattan that finding my tribe wouldn’t be so hard.  But it is!

Today I met with a woman who frightened me. She was literally Sybil. I walked in and she rushed over and asked to take my coat. She then shook my hand. Did I want a drink? So good to see me! What brought me in today? I looked at her and said, “You asked me to be here at 11:30”.

To this she quickly excused herself and then came back a completely different person. She proceeded to tell me she worked for Lauder for years but never did hair. She was so uptight and weird. She made me uncomfortable to be around. She must have asked me four times if I had any questions for her. How many questions could I have? It’s hair not open heart surgery. You’re not a hospital, you’re a salon! It was clear that she took this whole thing way too serious. “We like to take our time getting to know you. Meet on a few occasions. It’s a process.”

Instead of saying, “Why did you call me in then, Sybil?”  I simply said, “I appreciate your process. It lets me get a sense of you and I get the sense you are way too corporate for me.”  To this she replied, “We are structured.”  Code word: controlled. I just don’t resonate with that anymore. I’m thinking about getting a tattoo of a bird leaving a cage for Pete’s sake!

I couldn’t leave fast enough! I only wanted to breathe the air of the east village. Funny, cause I like the feel of the west village but talk about pretentious! Anyway, I found my tribe at two salons over there, so fingers crossed and all that jazz!

I am keenly aware of who my tribe is. There is a sense of belonging, community, being seen, heard and understood by them.  Like-minded individuals with a sense of humor, a sense of style and laughter. They are artists, free spirits and aren’t afraid to draw outside the lines. They know there are no such things as mistakes, just learning curves to put you back on your path to greatness. And they smile…alot!

I’ll find my tribe cause it’s looking for me. You don’t go through this journey without some reward. Granted the new you is something to celebrate, but what’s a celebration without others to toast alongside you?

Here’s to everyone finding their tribe!



Published by

Gretchen Allison

I love learning new skills and honing ones I already have. When I'm not trying new things I'm going to auditions, which I never tire of. I am blessed to have representation from some very wonderful agents and recently signed with an amazing manager. I am also an avid supporter of National Mill Dog Rescue and Dogs In Danger and usually have a foster dog or cat around.

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